Storied Campaign

In five short years Vero Communications has established itself as one of the most recognisable names in the sports industry worldwide.

4 September 2012 Michael Long

“It felt right on a personal and professional level,” says Vero Communications chairman Mike Lee of the agency’s foundation in 2006, “and I also had a sense, having worked over a number of years in the communications      # a gap in the market in terms of a strategic communications agency that also knew a lot about campaigning and the business    –>  #   Lee’s hunch right: most famously Vero Communications played a key role in Rio de Janeiro’s successful bid for the 2016 Olympic Games, rugby’s entry into the Olympic Sports programme and Qatar’s campaign to host the 2022 Fifa World Cup. “We’ve got a very good track record and we’re very proud of it,” says Lee, who founded London-based Vero after running the communications strategy for London’s successful bid for the 2012 Olympic Games. “The dynamics of those campaigns are fascinating and they do produce very interesting work. And, of course, when you win it is an amazing feeling and sense of satisfaction. But we have also worked with a number of brands and international federations, such as EDF and the IRB, helping them think through their messaging and positioning and designing strategic communications programmes. We’re also doing an increasing amount of work around Olympic London, for example, bringing together Rio 2016 with Somerset House for Casa Brasil has led to quite a lot of venue and location work. And most recently we helped British Gymnastics in their successful World Artistic Gymnastics bid for the championships in 2015. It’s a busy and exciting time for us at the moment.” •0#   years of the company I think we’ve worked from every angle of the business of sport from sponsors to federations to broadcasters,” says Lee, before adding with some understatement, “and amidst that there’ve   #2   – The core philosophy of the company is the creation of narratives to support clients’ requirements, something put to good use in the Rio and Qatar bids. “Some of the skillset and experiences that motivated the creation of the company came out of political-style campaigning and understanding that the best campaigns in any sector always have a strong and powerful narrative,” Lee explains. “What we all found working on London 2012, as our campaign developed, was that we spent a lot more time thinking through, designing and implementing a very attractive narrative and that was certainly one of the reasons why London won.” Despite the long list of clients, which currently includes the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games bid, Vero has just eight fulltime staff. “It’s not an ambition that Vero should become 100 people,” Lee says. “The ambition is that we’re successful in our work but that we also take satisfaction and enjoyment from it; that we work on things that are exciting for the company. •Q   ”  –  •  #       0  costs and like working with freelancers and other agencies who understand campaigns so we can create some sizeable teams  “ “    major presentations. That’s become a part of K&# 0 2 stop shop but we often bring in like-minded people who we’ve worked with before.” / ” # ™    “   by the growth of the sports industry. “I enjoy the business of sport, and it is still a buoyant industry,” he says. “It is also true that more and more things are subject to competitive bidding and our skillset has been applied there. The experiences, and the way that we try and design campaigns are applicable in many different circumstances, that was shown, for example, in our work with the new American owners in the takeover of Liverpool FC.” Looking ahead, Lee is aiming for growth,      # ¤•>   #   #  # is a good judge of things; it shows you’re doing good work, and, of course, that you can go on investing in the company. We’ve set ourselves a pretty high target after last year’s success and we plan to add to the team in the next six months. We have also just opened     ! “We’re lucky in that we’re often in a position to choose the sort of projects that we work on,” he adds. “At some point we may enter a formal alliance or even a more concrete relationship with a global agency but at the moment the key for us is to continue what we’re doing, enjoy it and continue to challenge ourselves every day. I think that Vero has been pretty good at doing that.” In five short years Vero Communications has established itself as one of the most recognisable names in the sports industry worldwide. 117 2011 07 {filedir_26}SportsProMag_issue34_117.pdf [26375] [sportspro_july_2011] SportsPro July 2011